What We've Accomplished
1,000,000 Trees Planted Worldwide
A member organization of the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign, Embracing the World has organized the planting of more than a million trees globally since 2001. After the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, we helped stabilize 13 kilometers of India’s coast by planting 30,000 saplings along the shoreline. Individual volunteers pledge to care for the saplings they have planted for the first year of its life, helping to ensure that the tree will survive and prosper. It is the experience and lessons learned by our volunteers around the world that enabled us to announce a new pledge to plant six million trees worldwide.
Preserving Heritage Seeds and a Grassroots Approach to a Healthy Lifestyle
Amma feels strongly that everyone should be able to eat vegetables grown organically at least once in a week, and that the act of growing these vegetables on one’s own is a practical step we can all take to help restore the lost harmony between humanity and nature. Inspired by this call, our volunteers have started cultivating organic gardens in their own home and in community gardens all over the world. Through online learning and local training courses, volunteers learn how to utilize every possible location to grow vegetables – from balconies to window sills to community gardens. While we recognize the value of biotechnology in reducing world hunger, we also recognize the importance of preserving heritage seeds. In that spirit, we work to inspire the world community to rise to the challenge of growing and developing a seed bank with non-genetically altered seeds.
In February 2013, Amma launched an initiative to promote the cultivation of organic food in Kerala, India. We distributed free seeds to 10,000 women so they can grow organic vegetables to feed their families. A total of 1,000 acres of land has been earmarked for this project, and we’re also arranging training and demonstration classes by organic farmers.
Reducing, Reusing and Recycling - A Zero Waste Approach from Top to Bottom
Inspired by Amma herself, volunteers at every level of our organization strive for a “zero waste” approach toward material resources. Compost treatment systems have been put in place at many our centers worldwide. In India, our institutions produce more than eight tons of compost each day.
The recycling center at Amritapuri, our international headquarters, serves as an educational model of professional waste management designed to meet the needs of India’s rapidly increasing population. The center serves as a tour model for visiting groups of schoolteachers and children, businesspeople, political officials, and waste management professionals.
The Plastic Project, active in India, North America, Japan and throughout Europe, teaches participants simple techniques to recycle plastic packaging into durable, fashionable products like bags, purses, mobile phone cases, and even material for cots to be used in emergency relief.
Indeed Campaign for Nature - Environmental Campaign and Awareness and Campaigns
Embracing the World’s InDeed Campaign for Nature is an online framework built by volunteers to support people all over the world in putting Amma’s practical suggestions - about the way we might use the earth’s remaining resources, and the way we interact with the natural world - into practice in our own lives and our own communities. So far, we have already garnered more than 15,000 commitments to make a difference for nature. But we didn’t stop there - to help people keep their commitments to nature, we offer workshops and courses all over the world on topics like tree planting, organic gardening, beekeeping, and wildlife preservation.
Throughout the world, Embracing the World’s main centers are working to become local models of sustainable living. Several of our projects and events have been formally recognized by UNESCO as part of the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development.
The centers host workshops in sustainable living, permaculture, beekeeping and conservation techniques, while residents and visitors incorporate lessons learned into daily life. By experiencing live examples of communities that are in harmony with nature, visitors to the centers get inspired to implement similar techniques in their own homes.
Eco-building techniques are used whenever possible. The centers employ rainwater harvesting, produce food from organic farms, gardens, and orchards, and make organic fruit and vegetables available to their local communities.
By encouraging sustainability principles in all our institutions, Amma and her volunteers are sowing the seeds of a better future.
- In Kerala, India, three medicinal plant gardens conserve coastal, midland and forest ecosystems and provide employment for local women.
- In France, Amma’s volunteers built a walk-in bee sanctuary that offers the educational experience of living with bees.
- In Europe, Greenfriends is using organic cultivation methods and developing seed banks to preserve local, ancient and/or endangered seeds.
- In the USA, Embracing the World has launched a tree sponsorship program with the goal of reforesting 80 acres of land with 40,000 pine trees.
- In India, volunteers are using nonrecyclable hard plastic packing straps to weave bed bases for metal-framed foldaway beds for disaster survivors.
- Amma Fiji’s Green Friends picked up hundreds of plastic bags and bottles, pieces of foam, and even some tires. Around 60 bags of garbage was picked up on two beaches along the Suva Sea Wall.
- Green Shores project is planning on planting 300,000 casuarina saplings in total on the Alappad Panchayat peninsula.